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With all the depressing news from Las Vegas, a bit of autumn stillness to calm from my friend, Jane Wilson.
A dried brown leaf twirls from an invisible filament a foot beneath a green and red branch, as others drift to the sun-mottled lawn below. A pine cone, the edges of its open brown petals tinged white, lands with a soft thud amidst the long russet needles that have already fallen. The last tomatoes, some still green, glow golden in the late afternoon sunlight.
The sounds of the cars, the sirens, the trains, the trembling of the earth, have no affect on these green growing things, even as they quietly shed their leaves and seeds.
There is no anger here. Only stillness, and life.
I didn’t write this poem, but thought I’d share it.
A sweet breeze ruffles the leaves, green and red, with golden edges.
The window screen is silvered by the sunlight.
The clouds languish beyond the rooftops, feeling the warmth, unwilling to move.
We climb the stairs, not haltingly, but with purpose, enjoying the strength of our legs and our lungs.
We move forward, with resolve.
Okay, not my post, but I certainly share her frustration. Yes, I have a flip phone, too.
This may turn out to be one of those posts I’ll delete later. But for now, please bear with me: I have to rant.
A couple of days ago, I received eight…count them, eight phone calls on my land line within three hours, all of which were junk.
I love technology. I’m the person friends call when they’re having computer issues. But when it comes to cell phones, I’m 100% dinosaur. My cell is an old flip model, and is always off. Unless I am traveling, or have to communicate with family or friends during emergencies, I do not use it. So, if a junk caller is using that number, they’re getting bupkis.
But, because I have family and friends who are in their “Golden years” (if you are over 60, you’ll understand why I’ve used quotation marks), and who have numerous health issues, I never turn off the…
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The First Amendment is important.
…starts with a single step. In solidarity with a friend in Great Britain, this pedometer geek is attempting to walk a thousand miles this year. Unfortunately, August was not the most productive of months in regards to putting on the steps and/or miles. In fact, August’s numbers were the lowest for the year. The total number of steps on the pedometer for the month was 209,904 of which 55,201 steps were aerobic steps. There were only two days in which this pedometer geek managed to put more than 10,000 steps on the pedometer and twenty-four days of aerobic steps (more than ten miles of continual walking).
These steps reduced the number of miles to 267 miles remaining toward the 1000 mile goal with another four months to go. Thus this pedometer geek is feeling more confident that it is obtainable although there is always the possibility that something could derail it.
On the other hand, reading seemed steady and some inroads on the bookcrossing.com challenges in which this reader participates showed some progress. The two challenges are the SIY (set-it-yourself) challenge and the pages-read challenge.
In the SIY challenge, three more books of the fifteen books to be read throughout the quarter were completed, yet there are still ten more books to complete by the end of September. Normally, four or five of them are completed in a month making the goal reasonable, but this quarter it may be a struggle. Depending on this quarter’s outcome, this reader may have to scale back on the number or abandon the SIY challenge totally.
In the year-long pages-read challenge, the progress is more positive. Of the 40,000 page goal, 31,113 pages have been read so far, and 2689 of them were read during the month. With a third of the year remaining (where did 2017 go?), the last 9,000 pages seems doable.
Nine books and one novella were read during the month. Unlike previous months, there were two books of nonfiction (one a biography, the other a memoir) as well as one book that was a blend of short stories and conversations. The fiction titles were of made up of the genres of romance, urban fantasy, mystery, and suspense. Six of the authors were new to this reader, and four of the books were read in an e-book format.
A slight digression here, but in a recent conversation with a reading friend, I mentioned that I was surprised just how many books I now read in an e-book format (what I once referred to as ‘turning to the dark side’). In response, she said she didn’t like to read this way and basically only read real books…that e-books weren’t really books at all. When I countered that I liked both and had found that some books were only available as e-books, especially a few books obtained through the library, she countered with the same argument; that e-books weren’t real books at all. I ask you who are reading this blog: how do you feel about books and e-books? Please weigh in as this inquiring mind wants to know.
In August, the following books were read/completed:
Love Garage by Liz Crowe
The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz
Hard Rules by Lisa Renee Jones
Nice Guys Bite (an e-novella) by Jennifer Estep
Gone Gull by Donna Andrews
The Wright Brothers by David McCullough *
Public Library and Other Stories by Ali Smith *
The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz *
The World According to Bob by James Bowen
There’s Something About Her by Z.L. Arkadie
Unlike most months, this pedometer geek reader read some nonfiction, but there were also various genres in the mix of fiction. Some romances, a mystery, a suspense thriller, and an urban fantasy completed the reading list. Ali Smith’s book, which was reviewed on my review site, http://www.pedometergeek.wordpress.com, was actually a blend of both fiction and nonfiction.
Without going into too much detail, here is the breakdown of the novels. Three contemporary romances, authored by Liz Crowe, Lisa Renee Jones, and Z.L. Arkadie, were read. Tiffany Reisz’s novel was a time travel romance. Jennifer Estep’s e-novella was a continuation of her Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. Donna Andrews’ novel was a continuation of her bird-themed mysteries. David Lagercrantz has taken over the writing of the suspense thrillers connected to Stieg Larsson, making this the fourth novel in the Millennium series featuring Lisbeth Salander (the girl with the dragon tattoo).
Two nonfiction books were read. David McCullough’s book was a biography of the Wright Brothers and their invention of the first plane. This reader, although having grown up in Ohio and spending many years in the Dayton area, still was surprised by all the information McCullough laid out about the brothers’ adventures. Consider checking this book out for some fascinating reader about the early days of powered flight. James Bowen continued his story of the street cat named Bob and his relationship with the cat on the streets of London. Overall, there was a bit of diversity in the reading material.
Now, to get back to reading books from the SIY list (like the asterisked titles are above) and putting more steps on the pedometer. Suggestions of books always welcomed.
I didn’t write this, but think it bears repeating for its message because don’t we all want a better tomorrow. Especially after the last couple days.
I’m sitting on the porch, enjoying the shade, the breeze and the quiet rustle of leaves. Church bells chime every hour, and cyclists pedal by. The parking spaces lining the streets and in the parking lots are almost empty and few cars pass by. A monarch butterfly flutters past. A yellow swallowtail stops briefly to investigate the phlox. A few bees buzz among the flowers lining the walk.
Sitting here is something I have resisted for some time now. Passers-by occasionally want to talk, and I’ve felt such an intense need for privacy I wait until nightfall to collect the mail or take out the trash. I’ve needed that peace so desperately, I sacrificed going outdoors even in the most beautiful weather.
Someone told me about a neighbor who worked in her garden only after dark, weeding and pruning by moonlight. Had I not heard that rumor and been afraid…
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